"Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary." - JM Barrie
Introducing a new business blog series from Louise.
People often ask entrepreneurs “What is your ‘why’? Why did you start a business? Why do you do what you do?” I think this changes over time, and I’ve often struggled with this question. Now Bookishly is more established, I feel like I really know what the answer to that question is.
My business goal is to create an enjoyable and meaningful workplace with a proper work/life balance for myself and the whole team of staff at Bookishly. I want it to be a place where people want to work, can earn a good wage and as a result focus on what is good for them.
There’s lots of things about the way we run Bookishly that I’m proud of, but we have lots of work to do too. I want to explore lots of things that embody ‘good’ business. Business that adds good to the world.
As a socialist, I sometimes find myself feeling that being an entrepreneur is not compatible with my politics. I’m supposed to work all hours, embrace the hustle and chase the dollar. But the more I read and the more I discuss it with like minded friends, the more I realise that’s not true. It can be different.
I’m going to explore things like a four day working week, how we can improve our impact on the environment and whether something like a co-operative or a B Corp might be a good path for Bookishly. We should also look at our anti racist position and continue to work on that. These are all things that I don’t really know much about at the moment but I want to learn, and I want to let you in on what I find out along the way.
At the moment real ethical business practises are left upto market forces. This results in greenwashing and exaggerations of small steps. I admit that Bookishly has been guilty of this. I don’t think these things should be left to the market to decide.
The ‘free market’ should be about taste and budget and products and service not about how ethical companies are. Let me explain. We should choose to buy from a particular clothing company based on what we think of their designs, or how they suit our budget, or how their clothes fit, not because of whether or not they pollute the environment with their manufacturing process. We should choose which pub we go to based on what we like about the menu or the atmosphere, not based on whether or not their staff are on zero hours contracts. I believe in regulation for the things that are essential to our society. Sustainable environmental practices and fair treatment of staff should be the bare minimum and companies that are doing it right shouldn’t be competing with those that aren’t
But this blog isn’t about that. Until we have a radical change to business regulation at a government level we need to do it ourselves. So let’s.